The Austin Chronicle

HD 48 GOP Primary a Race

By Richard Whittaker, October 19, 2009, 1:22pm, Newsdesk

Looks like a second media personality has decided they'd like to turn Democratic state Rep. Donna Howard's House District 48 seat Republican. After banker-turned-documentarian Glenn Bass threw his hat in the GOP primary ring, now morning radio host Dan Neil is getting in on the action.

The Austin-American Statesman reports that Neil has filed his paperwork with the Texas Ethics Commission, and sure enough, the name Daniel Patrick Neil now appears on the commission website.

A former UT footballer and ex-Denver Bronco, Neil now co-hosts The Morning Rush on ESPN Austin (for sports fans, he was a third round draft pick in 1997 and went on to spend eight seasons with the Broncos: Of course, that could raise some questions about his connection to the district). However, he isn't a political ingenue: He's the only executive board member of conservative election machine GOPAC-TX who has never been an elected official, and the only one (bar former district judge Rene Diaz) that isn't a veteran of the state house. Hmm. With hindsight, that probably should have been a clue that he was planning something along these lines.

It will be interesting to see how far he can run on the football angle (it will inevitably be a part of the discussion: Even Burnt Orange Report refers to him as a "former Longhorn football player"). However, hanging around with arch-conservatives like GOPAC-TX chairman Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford (the man that killed unemployment insurance reform for Gov. Rick Perry, thus ensuring that Texas businesses will get hammered by tax hikes) may be too much, even in Longhorn country.

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